Back

MINERALS
Lesson 1 - Page 3

Next 

The characteristics of a mineral that enables us to distinguish it from other substances are known as properties. Mineral properties can include color, hardness, specific gravity, streak, luster and even taste. Certain properties are characteristic of certain minerals, which makes identification easier. For example, a salty taste is usually halite. However, most minerals require several properties to identify it. So it is important to learn the logic of mineral identification.

Whenever a geologist picks up a specimen, there are some logical steps that they consider. They try and eliminate a group of minerals quickly by performing simple tests. Letís go through a situation of identification and then we will learn in detail some of these characteristics. 


Calcite - non-metallic luster


Copper - metallic luster

   Back

[Back to Minerals]   [Earth Science Grid]

Next